VI Clean Air Congress – air protection in Poland!

On 8-9 March 2023 in the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw the VI Congress for Clean Air was held, organised by the local government of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship, TOR Consultants Group Ltd. And the Masovian Energetics Agency. It is one of the most important events tackling air protection in Poland, bringing together a great many experts from various discipline to discuss ideas and exchange experience. This year’s Congress focused on the multidimensional aspect of air protection. There was also important discussion of issues of energy poverty, ecological education and progressive transportation.

Different fields, common goal

The event’s program consisted of expert talks and panel discussions. Different approaches to the issue of air quality were presented by: representatives of state institutions, NGOs, the media, politicians and scientists. Furthermore, many interdisciplinary subjects concerning the fight against the climate crisis on a local, regional, national and European level were discussed. The main focus were practical matters, such as: specific legislative, educational, informational and organisational actions for climate protection in various fields. A great opportunity for discussion was provided by the debate on the need to introduce legislative changes and to create or enhance the available financial and organisational instruments. The participants utilised the forum to propose new actions and solutions, as well as to share experiences concerning the existing initiatives and methods of improving their efficiency.

The first day of the VI Congress focused on the issues of: energy poverty; energy efficiency of buildings; financial instruments aimed at air protection. The sessions of the second day of the Congress concerned principally: transportation and mobility; energy security and education on ecology and air protection. During the last thematic block the Manager of the Air Protection Team of the Marshal’s Office of Małopolska Region, Katarzyna Stadnik, gave a presentation.

Eco-managers in the fight for clean air

The lecture by the representative of the Małopolskie Voivodeship was meant to give an answer to the question “Why does every municipality need an eco-manager?”. The experience of the Małopolskie Voivodeship in implementing the LIFE program “Małopolska in healthy atmosphere” is a great compilation of knowledge on including the work of experts on air protection in operations on the local level.

The Małopolska Air Quality Plan aims to create a network of eco-managers working on air protection measures. The presentation showcased the scope of eco-managers work, which entails, among others: help in acquiring funding, furnace inspections, educational activities, work against escalating energy poverty. The participants of the Congress also learned about the tangible effects of eco-managers work, most notably the improvement of the process of replacing outdated boilers, which are the main source of pollution. Another important achievement of the implementation of the LIFE project is the increased awareness of residents on the issues of air protection. These actions have contributed to limiting of emissions and air pollution in the voivodeship, and thusly to the improvement of the quality of life among residents of Małopolska.

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